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November 13, 2013

Going to the Moon in Health Care: Medicine’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)

Author Affiliations
  • 1Office of the Provost, Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, The Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA. 2013;310(18):1925-1926. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.281967

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade.”

On September 12, 1962, during his famous speech at Rice University, President Kennedy made going to the moon a national goal.1 It galvanized the country. It led to NASA. It roused support for huge budgetary resources for scientific research and development, which yielded advanced rocket technology, light-emitting diodes, cochlear implants, freeze-dried food, and memory foam, among other inventions. It shifted the research of thousands of scientists and engineers toward space. And it generated tremendous public excitement.